Police move in after Australian pilot kidnapped in Papua New Guinea

  • An Australian pilot and two others have been kidnapped in Papua New Guinea.
  • They are believed to be telecom workers.
  • PNG’s prime minister says police and troops are heading to the province in which they were taken.
An Australian helicopter pilot and two other workers have been kidnapped in Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) highlands, the country’s chief of police says.
“We are focused on resolving this as soon as possible,” Commissioner David Manning said on Monday, confirming the nationality of the pilot and adding that police were responding to the incident.
The pilot and two others — believed to be telecom workers — were taken near Mount Sisa, in central Hela Province.
PNG Prime Minister James Marape told the AFP news agency that the “Australia High Commissioner has been informed on this matter”.
The police are “attending to this and with (the) defence force we (are) moving into the area”, he added.
Papua New Guinea’s highlands have in recent years been hit by a spate of kidnappings and violence that has killed hundreds.
Last week — the result of clashes between rival clans.
The government has come under fierce pressure to boost security resources in the area and tackle growing lawlessness.
“I want to inform all that crime does not pay, it ultimately leads to arrest or deaths of criminals so appreciate locals who are assisting police as we speak,” Marape said.
Manning said details of the kidnapping situation were still emerging, but it was believed the suspected assailants were “not from the area”.
“We are working closely with the community leaders,” he said.

SBS News has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs for comment.

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